After the really not too good Terminator: Salvation, series creator James Cameron finally remarked that the soup had been pissed in. He said that as far as he was concerned, the series had ran its course. I and many others pretty much agree with that. Now though things are getting worse, Paramount, along with a string of minority investors as well as Arnold Schwarzenegger, are prepping to shit in the soup too.
Terminator: Genisys is not a movie. It is a cynical cash-in, aimed and timed deliberately for 2015, with a view to squeezing as much cash out of the franchise as possible before the rights revert back to Jim Cameron in 2019. Whether the movie was actually any good or not was secondary, this was whoring out at its finest. They don’t even care that there are glaring photoshop problems in the promo material, their hope is just to get two runs at the corpse, squeezing another out before 2019 if possible.
In 2019 James Cameron will, indeed, retain the rights to the Terminator. Then, the piss will be filtered from the soup. You have to wonder though, what will he do with the property?
Option 1: Do nothing
I feel that this is the most likely scenario – Jim Cameron will just sit on the rights, probably indefinitely. Take the material from greedy hands and lock it up in a vault. Then move on to other things. Avatar movies, Battle Angel Alita, who knows. Cameron has said that for him, the series pretty much ended at the closing credits of Terminator 2: Judgement Day. It’s hard to argue with that, because the two movies that followed were like some drunk bum climbing on stage and trying to extend a standup routine long after the pro had left the building.
Maybe Cameron will opt to give the series a dignified burial, after the final trampling it is about to get this summer. Maybe he will do that and instead contribute to or appear in a nice retrospective. Maybe he will oversee a re-release of Terminator 2: Judgement Day in 3D as he as hinted towards, but at the same time, block the release of any new movie.
Option 2: Reboot
A second possibility is that James Cameron might just rip the whole thing up and start again. Last year Cameron said “I haven’t really thought that far ahead yet. I’ve got plenty of time to think about it. It might be fun to completely re-invent the franchise,” What a reboot of a Terminator franchise would look like, I don’t know. But I know that if anyone could pull it off, it would be Jim Cameron. I would say that Cameron would again go with an unknown, relatively, for the title role. Probably in 3D, 4K, revolutionary.
The only hope for this is the question being put to Cameron, probably by himself, on whether or not he could ‘do it again’. Cameron likes a challenge, which is probably why he may never return to something he’s already completed, but if he was tempted to test himself, maybe…
Option 3: Sequel
Here is the best option and the one we’ve all been waiting for since 1991. A sequel to Terminator 2: Judgement Day. The real sequel. Not that camp piece of crap Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, or McG’s disastrous Terminator: Salvation. The real deal.
There is one thing that could help usher this one in. George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road has done wonders for the prospects of old action movies, in the face of the damage that Schwarzenegger and Terminator: Genisys are about to do. I know for a fact that Jim Cameron is, secretly at least, a student of George Miller. Real aficionados will spot some ‘Max’ cues in both Terminator movies. So it is a good bet that Mad Max: Fury Road will have gotten Jim Cameron stroking his chin.
What if... he may be asking himself. Mad Max: Fury Road is an incredible spectacle, almost, you could say, in line with the future war of the Terminator series. And it was done, successfully, by the original director, who is ten years older than Cameron. What if Cameron was to do the same thing for Terminator 3? Set entirely in post-nuclear Los Angeles?